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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  May 21, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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05/21/15 05/21/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> there are people from the city joining the islamic state. they let the militants into the city. without their help they would not know where to go in which street, which houses are the key places. amy: fighters from the self-described islamic state sees the ancient city of palmyra and now control more than half of syria. meanwhile, the u.s. has begun bombing ramadi in an effort to help shiite militias retake the city. we will speak to charles glass author of, "syria burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." been to the felons on wall street.
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>> we're here to announce action against international financial institutions that for years participated into -- in a brazen display of collusion and foreign exchange rate market manipulation. and will come as a result, pay a total of nearly $3 billion in fines and penalties. amy: as j.p. morgan chase, royal bank of scotland group, citigroup and barclays plead guilty to felony charges and to pay out billions will anyone go to jail? we will speak to rolling stone's matt taibbi. we will also talk about why baltimore blew up. as met a be says, it wasn't just the killing of freddie gray. he will take us inside the complex legal infrastructure that encourages and covers up police violence. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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the self-described islamic state has seized control of the ancient city of palmyra in central syria. palmyra is home to some of the world's most renowned historic structures and is classified as a world heritage site. there are fears it could see the same fate as other cities where isil has destroyed ancient cultural sites and artifacts. with palmyra's capture, isil now reportedly controls more than half of syrian territory. the seizing of palmyra in syria comes as the u.s. has launched air strikes and expedited weapons shipments for the campaign to dislodge isil from the iraqi city of ramadi. isil seized ramadi on sunday leaving hundreds dead and forcing thousands to flee. iranian-backed shiite militias are staging a counteroffensive to retake the city. we'll have more on isil's gains in iraq and syria later in the broadcast. malaysia and indonesia have offered temporary refuge to up to 7000 migrants stranded in boats off their coast.
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the malaysian foreign minister announced the move wednesday. >> agreed to provide humanitarian assistance to those 7000 migrants still at sea. we also agree to offer them temporary shelter provided the settlement and repatriation process will be done in one year by the international community. amy: the migrants are mostly bangladeshis and persecuted rohingya muslims from burma, who are not considered citizens in burma and are effectively stateless. the cap of 7000 means thousands more could remain stranded at sea. thailand has said it will allow the sick to receive medical care, and won't push any boats back out to sea. australia meanwhile has refused taking any migrants in. the u.n. says it will convene a meeting of yemen's rival factions in geneva one week from today. a spokesperson for human secretary-general ban ki-moon said the aim is a negotiated
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settlement after over seven weeks of conflict. >> the only resolution to the crisis in yemen is an inclusive negotiated political settlement. the united nations has worked closely with yemeni since 2007 to support aspirations for change. with this experience coupled with dialogue on the secretary-general hopes these consultations will help them relaunch the political process reduce the levels of violence, and alleviate the intolerable humanitarian situation. amy: the announcement comes as residents of the capital sanaa say they've suffered the most intensive night of saudi-led bombings since the offensive began in late in march. iran meanwhile, has announced it will submit a cargo ship carrying humanitarian supplies to international inspections in djibouti before arriving in yemen. iran had sent the ship in defiance of a saudi blockade that has deprived yemen of fuel and basic goods. the inspection could avoid the risk of a major showdown with saudi vessels enforcing the siege.
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five of the world's top banks will pay over $5 billion in fines after pleading guilty to rigging the price of foreign currencies. attorney general loretta lynch unveiled the case on wednesday. >> we're here to announce a major law enforcement action against international financial institutions that for years participated in a brazen display of collusion and foreign exchange rate market manipulation, and will come as a result, pay a total of nearly $3 billion in fines and penalties. as a result of our investigation, four the world's largest banks have agreed to plea guilty to felony antitrust violations. they are citicorp, j.p. morgan chase and company barclays plc, and the royal bank of scotland plc. amy: ubs is also expected to plead guilty to charges and pay a $500 million fine. the justice department is voiding a previous non-prosecution agreement with ubs over its violations of the terms. no individual bank employees
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were hit with criminal charges meaning no one will go to jail. we'll have more on this story after headlines. nebraska lawmakers have voted to abolish the death penalty. a measure approved wednesday would replace lethal injection with a maximum life sentence behind bars. republican governor pete ricketts has promised a veto but state legislators are expected to override it as early as next week. if the override prevails nebraska would be the first conservative state to ban the death penalty in more than four decades. republican senator rand paul staged a 10 hour filibuster-type action on the floor wednesday to protest the extension of bulk data collection by the nsa. the senate is set to consider the measure before the patriot act before expires on june 1. >> there comes a time in the history of nations when sera and complacency allow power to
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accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. that time is now and i will not let the patriot act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged. right now we're treating every american in one category. there is a general veil of suspicion that is placed on every american now. every american is somehow said to be under suspicion because we're collecting the records of every american. amy: senator rand paul's effort was aided by seven democrats and three republicans who gave speeches to help keep the session going. the democrats were senators ron wyden, martin heinrich, joe manchin, chris coons, maria cantwell, richard blumenthal and jon tester post of the house approved a measure last week that calls for ending the bulk collection of telephone records i requiring the nsa to make specific requests to phone companies for user's data rather than vacuuming up all of the
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records at once. but republican leaders in the senate say they want to keep the ball spying, federal appeals court ruled the ball collection of phone records is illegal. california has declared a state of emergency for santa barbara county after a ruptured pipeline leaked oil into the pacific ocean. the estimated spill size has grown five-fold to up to 105,000 gallons. a coast guard spokesperson said the oil slick from the spill has also expanded to 9 miles. >> we have basically, two miles from shore, a slick that is possibly 3.7 miles long that goes along the shoreline heading east. and northeast, we have a slick offshore that is 5.3 miles. so a slick totaling about nine miles in length. in addition, we are actively on the beaches and we have the contractors on the beaches removing oil from the sand is
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the first step, because that is the easiest thing that we can get to on the beach area. and we have plans obviously, to continue the cleanup of the rocky areas of the pebbles, and the outcrops. amy: president obama has issued a call to tackle climate change with an appeal to protecting national security. obama spoke wednesday in a commencement address to coast guard graduates. >> climate change is one of those most severe threats. and this is not just a problem for countries on the coasts or for certain regions of the world. climate change will impact every country on the planet. no nation is immune. so i'm here today to say that climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, and immediate risk to our national security. and make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. so we need to act and we need to act now.
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amy: thousands of workers are rallying for higher pay and the right to unionize at the annual meeting of the fast-food giant mcdonald's. a major protest was held wednesday outside the company's headquarters near chicago, and more actions are planned for today. mcdonald's announced a $1 an hour minimum wage hike at company-owned stores last month, but workers seek a $15 an hour minimum wage in line with a growing movement nationwide. new cellphone video sheds light on freddie gray's fatal journey in a baltimore police van. the footage obtained by "the baltimore sun" shows gray lying motionless as several police officers shackle his ankles and load him into the vehicle. it appears to contradict earlier police claims that gray was irate and combative. one of the officers, lieutenant brian rice, reportedly threatened to use his taser on the eyewitness who was filming. we'll have more on this story later in the broadcast. we will be speaking with matt taibbi.
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a florida mailman who made national headlines when he flew a tiny personal aircraft known as a gyrocopter on to the lawn of the u.s. capitol has been indicted. doug hughes was carrying letters to every member of congress , urging them to address corruption and to pass campaign finance reform. hughes flew about an hour from maryland into restricted airspace and onto the capitol's west lawn, stunning authorities and bystanders. on wednesday, hughes was charged with six counts with a maximum of 9.5 years in prison. speaking to democracy now! last month, hughes said it was worth risking his life and freedom to raise awareness about getting big money out of politics. you can go to our interview with doug hughes who was under house arrest and -- in his home in florida at a royal navy whistleblower who exposed his enable police
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custody after about a week on the run. and an 18 page report published by wikileaks, he wrote "we're so close to a nuclear disaster it is shocking, and yet everybody is accepting the risk to the public." he describes a fire on board a submarine, the use of a missile compartment as a gym and alleged cover-up of a submarine collision and lax security that makes it harder to get into most backups in restricted areas of the nuclear base. british authorities have said they will not prosecute them under the official secret act, move verdicts have said is aimed at averting further scrutiny of his revelations. and dozens of activists gathered outside a nestlé plant in los angeles wednesday to demand the food giant stop bottling water in california. an activist with the courage campaign said nestlé is unfairly exporting water as the state faces a crippling drought and mandatory caps on consumption.
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>> businesses across the state are urged to conserve water. they are doing their part. there are mandatory water restrictions. meanwhile, nestlé is bottling our precious resource straight from the heart of california's trout, exporting it out of state and selling it for profit. it is completely outrageous and we are here to demand that they stopped her bottling practices immediately. amy: and those are some of the headlines this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. fighters from the self described islamic state now control half of syria according to the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights. the announcement was made after the islamic state seized control of both the ancient and modern cities of palmyra in central syria. palmyra is home to some of the world's most renowned historic sites, including the temple of
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ba'al, an ancient theater and a 2000-year-old colonnade. the fall of palmyra comes just days after fighters from the islamic state seized control of the iraqi city of ramadi, 70 the islamic state attacked the city by sending in a wave of 30 suicide car bombs. ten of the vehicles were packed with enough bomb-making materials to carry out explosions the size of the blast of the 1995 oklahoma city bombing. amy: iranian-backed shiite militias are now staging a counteroffensive to retake ramadi. the united states is carrying out aerial bombings to support the effort. former state department official ramzy mardini told the military times -- "the u.s. has effectively changed its position, coming to the realization that shiite militias are a necessary evil in the fight against isis." the united states has also expedited shipment of 1000 additional at4 anti-tank weapons for iraqi forces. joining us now is charles glass, former abc news chief middle east correspondent. his latest book is titled,
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"syria burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." charles, first address this latest news that the self proclaimed islamic state has moved from ramadi and is now taken over the ancient city of palmyra in syria, and that isis now controls more than half of syria. >> it hasn't moved from ramadi. the islamic state is fighting a two front war. because the kurdish regional government -- against the kurdish regional government and against the syrian army. they have substantial forces on both sides and are able to attack in both places. as we've seen with how myra in ramadi falling, excessively to fight these two front wars. the fact they can do this means that they have not given up, have not retreated. there were hopes in iraq there
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would be an attempt to retake moselle --mosul. ramadi is so close to baghdad. in syria taking palmyra or the town next to it, were there was a notorious prison where there were many islamist prisoners is a major coup for them. but when we say half of syria is now under isis control, what that means is have to territories, three court is of the population is still under government control. nermeen: charlie glass, could you talk about the significance of palmyra? not only is at the side of the ancient ruins, but it is also close to the oil and gas fields which the syrian government uses to generate electricity for a part of the country. >> isis had already last are taken oil and gas fields near the capital of the islamic caliphate. this is simply expanding their access to more crude oil, which
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they are selling extreme we cheaply on the world market. ♪ [music break] nermeen: there is been some concern expressed that isis will gain revenue, possibly from the illegal trafficking of the antiquities that are there in palmyra? >> isis and the other extreme islamic group the nusra front have been selling antiquities for the past couple of years. it is not new. traders are coming down from turkey to buy the most viable artifacts and sell them in turkey and europe. this was simply increasing the plunder. what they don't sell, they will destroy, saying they're destroying [indiscernible] particularly would like to destroy free islamic roman structures that are in palmyra. palmer is in the middle of the desert, not easily accessible from anywhere. but it is a most beautiful agent city which if they behave the
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way they behaved in cities in iraq, will not be there anymore. amy: the syrian antiquities chief said hundreds of statues had been moved from the historic syrian city of palmyra to locations safe from islamic state militants who managed to take control of areas of the ancient site on wednesday. he called on the international community to help protect the ancient site. >> it is an international battle. if they succeed, it will not be a victory against only the syrian people, but one against america, china, france britain and russia and all the permanent members of the security council as well as the international community. they must at least prevent the advance of any reinforcement to the groups that have already crept into the city. amy: the city is called palmyra. talk about what this means even beyond paul myra in syria.
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you wrote a book on this charles glass, that is just been published "syria burning: isis , and the death of the arab spring." >> the military conflict between the syrian government and its islamist opponents, this is part of the sea saw that is been going on since the world -- war began. the regime makes gains in certain areas and the islamist retreat and then the islamist make gains. this is a measure of the inability of isi to defeat the other. the fall of tom myra military doesn't mean much --palmyra doesn't mean much. psychologically, it is important because it is been an important part of civilization. militarily, the struggle will go on. this work could go on for years as each side takes and loses territory, conquers and loses control of populations and drives -- particularly -- drives them out of their homes. nermeen: what you say, charles glass, the antiquities chief
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also asked for more international help to help protect palmyra? do you feel there should be a more robust international military intervention now to prevent the self proclaimed islamic state plus military successes? >> i'm not sure what the interviews to in syria meant when he said there should be interventions. the means military intervention or they should act to rescue those things that can be moved and taken to a safe place several parts of syria or outside syria until the war is over. i'm not sure. i think it would be very demoralizing for syrian people to see an international military intervention to protect ruins but not to protect the 50,000 people who live around those ruins. it would be saying to the syrian people your lights are not important, but these stones are. and that would reinforce the islamic front possible
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propaganda -- france propaganda that the world doesn't have at you, but we do. amy: talk about what is happening now in syria. what is happening with al-assad who is still the ruler, what are the different alliances that are forming, and then the role of the west like the united states. >> the alliances and syria haven't changed much. the arenas and russians still back the al-assad regime and the united states indirectly, france, britain, saudi arabia, turkey, are supporting the opposition will stop the united states as it is supporting a mythical moderate opposition. but the weapons it gives to those people end up in the hands of isis or the nusra front as soon as they crossed the border. the balance of forces in that sense have not changed. for the last two years. i think one of the problems the united states has, it has two different policies in this war. it is confronting actively is in
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iraq because the united states supports the regime in baghdad, but allowing its client -- saudi arabia qatar 20 support the same i.s. against a regime in damascus that it doesn't like. because of its alliance with iran and russia. amy: what is the role of saudi arabia? >> it is been consistent from the beginning. he wanted to cialis thrown out and was given funding and arms to anyone who would do that. does it wanted to cialis on thrown out and was giving funding and arms to anyone who would do that. it gave the supplies to people like that. [indiscernible] nermeen: what you think accounts for the fact he was policy is to put in iraq that it is from syria? >> as i said, they want the regime in damascus to fall because of its relationship with iran, it support for hezbollah and its alliance with russia.
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it wants the regime to go. in baghdad, they want the regimes [indiscernible] these two regimes in baghdad and damascus or the posted -- forces opposed to the islamic front in the atomic front once to overthrow both of them. until there is a court nation forces from the syrian army and the west, the iraqi army and the kurds in east to have a coherent strategy to squeeze the islamists, the war will go on and on. amy: the significance of the u.s. announcing that special forces have conducted a rare raid against a senior islamic state figure at his residence in serious oil rich southeast commandos killing a tunisian jihadi described as a manager of the islamic state's oil and gas operations which has been a significant source of income or the organization -- for the organization? >> i'm not sure what your
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question is. amy: the significance of them killing him in this rare raid on his home. >> well, if it is true, it is an attempt to cut off some of their supply of money because they're using that to fight the iraqi army and have success is just like the one they had in ramadi. a lot of these reports like him out, they're impossible to verify because there's only one source for that story. nermeen: i also want to ask about iraq. on wednesday, state department spokesperson acknowledged the loss of ramadi with a setback but pledged continued u.s. support. >> have always known the fight would be long and difficult, especially in province. so there is no denying theis is a setback, but there is no doubt the united states will help. we're supporting the government of iraq with precision airstrikes and advise to the
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iraqi forces. our aircraft are in the air searching for isil targets and will continue to do so until ramadi is retaken. nermeen: the fall of ramadi came despite weeks of u.s. airstrikes and is considered one of isil's biggest victories since it seized territory across iraq last june. speaking tuesday, secretary of state john kerry said he expects isil's gains to be reversed. >> in addition, their communications have been reduced , their funding and financial mechanisms have been reduced and their movements by and large in most certainly where there are care patrols in other capacities have been reduced. but that is not everywhere. and so it is possible to have the kind of attack we've seen in ramadi but i am absolutely confident in the days ahead that will be reversed. nermeen: that was john kerry
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speaking on tuesday. could you talk about this question of whether the u.s. should now engage -- even the iraqi government has said they need more military assistance to be able to fight the islamic state. and as you pointed out, the u.s. is supporting the iraqi government whereas it is not doing so with the al-assad regime in syria, do you think the u.s. should now consider perhaps troops in iraq? >> it seems to me obvious that the first measure should be to deprive the islamic state of its arms and money coming through turkey. turkey is a naval ally of the united states. "that border. it has enclosed the border. until that border is closed, it is free and easy access to supplies underfunding and to places for its fighters to receive medical treatment and to get rest when they need it.
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without that they're going to find themselves surrounded by the syrian army and the iraqi army and the kurds with no alliance -- no lines of to medication for outside support. i would think of the united states wants to stay out of another war the correct strategy would be to cut off the supplies and the funding through turkey. amy: charles glass on june 2 the ministers from the member of the coalition fighting the islamic state will meet in paris to devise strategies to reverse recent losses. what do you think needs to happen as we look from iraq to syria? >> first, as i said, to close the border. second, there has to be coordination among the syrians the iranians, the iraqis, the americans who are all actively involved in opposing the islamic state. without that kind of court nation, it is not going to work
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-- coordination it is not going to work. and then go after the other side when it suits it. at the moment, it is setting the agenda. i think coordination is vital and also vital to bring an end to the war in syria through discussions between the united states and the russians. the united states supporting opposition, the russians supporting the regime. if they can come to an agreement between themselves, that would be a huge step forward, if they do indeed want [indiscernible] nermeen: charlie glass, you mentioned the cutting off funding and closing the border. in your book, you conclude by citing an arab diplomat in damascus who said about support for the islamic state, it is like the lion tamer. he feeds and trains the lion but the lion might kill him at the right moment. so given this concern, is it
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your view that countries like charity -- turkey, saudi arabia, etc., have relinquished funding to the islamic state? >> clearly, they haven't stopped funding and supplying. the turks are still allowing fighters to go through their border and to take heart in fighting in syria and iraq. that something hasn't happened. it probably should. i think one of the fears of the backers of these two big islamic groups have is the fighting syria itself that doesn't come home. in a way, saudi's, by encouraging these people to fight in syria against what they see as an idolatrous non-muslim regime is a way of making sure they don't come back and make problems and saudi arabia itself. the turks also would be very worried if some of these fighters decide to go after turkey and try to set up islamic state in turkey or in any of the countries that have supported it. amy: i want to turn to the
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comets made by former florida governor and republican presidential hopeful jeb bush. speaking wednesday, he suggested the obama administration's policies led to the creation of isis. >> isis didn't exist when my brother was president. al qaeda in iraq was wiped out when my brother was president. there were make -- mistakes made, for sure, but the surge created a fragile but stable iraq that the president could have built on and it would have not allowed isis or isil -- amy: charles glass, your final comment to jeb bush? >> he is right. president obama did allow the islamic front to be created during his term of office, but he is also minimizing the role that al qaeda in iraq played in the nucleus of i.s. and the nusra front. all they did go underground,
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they did not disappear. by the way, they did not exist for the american invasion under bush's brother took place in 2003. they did not exist at all. they are a function of that invasion. amy: charles glass, thank you for being with us, former abc news chief middle east correspondent. his latest book is titled, "syria burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." when we come back, crime spree on wall street. who goes to jail? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn out to the felons on wall street. five of the world's largest major banks will pay over $5 million in fines. citigroup, j.p. morgan chase, barclays and royal bank of scotland pleaded guilty to conspiring to manipulating money and exchanged in the five julian for an exchange is $5 trillion for an exchange spot market. ubs pleaded guilty for its role in manipulating the libor benchmark interest rate. on wednesday, u.s. attorney general loretta lynch announced the deal. >> we're here to announce a major law enforcement action against international financial institutions that for years participated in a brazen display of collusion and foreign exchange rate market manipulation. and as a result, will pay a total of nearly $3 billion in
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fines and penalties. as a result of our investigation, four of the world's largest banks have agreed to plead guilty to felony antitrust violations. they are city court am a j.p. morgan chase and company, are clays plc, and the royal bank of scotland plc. amy: no one who works with the bank was it with criminal charges as part of the settlements. for more, we're joined by matt taibbi, award-winning journalist with "rolling stone" magazine. his most recent book, "the divide: american injustice in the age of the wealth gap," is now out in paperback. explain what these banks are charged with and what does it mean when you say things are charged, but all of the people go free. quotes the company's pleaded guilty to felony charges, in this case, which means it was not and vigils of the companies, was the actual company itself. which is a step forward because for a long time in the post 2008 time, we were having a lot of
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settlements where there was sort of a neither admit nor deny agreement between the government and these companies. in this case, the actually did admit to wrongdoing and play guilty to a criminal charge, in addition to the money changing hands. amy: what was the wrongdoing? >> it was manipulating the prices of currencies which is about as serious a financial crime as you can possibly get. you and i sat here a few years ago and talked about the libor scandal. this is very similar. amy: a simple terms as you can make it, because i think that is why nobody goes to jail. you can understand if someone stills a candy bar and a person can go to jail for years for that. but when it comes to this, what do they do? >> they were monkeying around with everyone currency on earth. if you can imagine anyone who are money, which basically includes anybody who is breathing on the planet all of
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those people were affected by this activity. if you have dollars in your pocket, they wereing monkey around with the price of dollars versus euros. you may have had many fractionally -- less money fractionally everything will day. attorney general lynch went out of for way to say this activity went on basically every single day for the last five years or so. so every single day that five dollars in your pocket was worth little bit more or a little bit less based on what these people were doing. if you spread that out to everybody on earth, it turns into a financial crime that is on a scale they would normally only think of in bond movies or something like that. nermeen: the justice department said traders used online chat rooms and coded language to manipulate currency exchange rates. one high ranking barclays trader chatted "if you ain't cheating you ain't trying," and another responded "yes, the less competition the better." could you comment on that? and also explain why in this
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particular case the company's pleaded guilty. >> i think part of it is because they had is very graphic online record of these people chatting and admitting to essentially a criminal conspiracy in writing. that is one of the things that is interesting about this entire era of financial crime is that you have so much of this very graphic detail documentary evidence just lying around. the problem is the government has been either too overwhelmed or two disinclined to go and get it and do anything with it. in this case you people openly calling themselves the cartel or the mop yeah and and openly talking about monkeying around or manipulating the price of this or that. the commodity futures trading commission actually released chance from a different case involving interest rate swaps yesterday where they were bragging about how he was holding up the price of interest rate swaps like he was bench pressing at. it were bragging about this in
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these chat rooms. what you have to understand about a lot of these people that are very testosterone-laden, souped-up young people who think they're indestructible, very arrogant and they are doing all of this in chat rooms thinking they're never going to get caught and they got caught. amy: on wednesday, the citigroup ceo michael corbat said -- "the behavior that resulted in the settlements we announced today is an embarrassment to our firm, and stands in stark contrast to citi's values." meanwhile, jpmorgan ceo jamie dimon called the investigation findings "a great disappointment to us," and said -- "the lesson here is that the conduct of a small group of employees, or of even a single employee, can reflect badly on all of us, and have significant ramifications for the entire firm." said the ceo jamie dimon. >> what is humorous about this, virtually all of these so-called
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too big to fail banks have been embroiled in scandals of erring degrees of extreme seriousness since 2008. for them to say, oh, it is just a few bad apples in this one instance, is increasingly absurd. everything from bribery to money laundering to rigging libor to mass fraud in the subprime mortgage markets and now the forex markets. it is one mass crime over -- after another and there is no consequence. amy: aren't these banks competitors? >> well, sort of. but what is happening, they're colluding, which is a far more dangerous kind of corruption and we saw, for instance, in 2008 when he saw a lot of banks in house committing fraud against her own clients and against the markets. this behavior or you have a series of major banks colluding to fix the price of a currency, that is extremely dangerous. and if that behavior is allowed to go unchecked, the negative possibilities that could stem from that are virtually limitless.
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nermeen: the foreign exchange market is the largest and yet the least regulated markets in the financial world. do you know why that is? and who would be in charge of its regulation? >> a variety of regulatory bodies would have what you describe as a general purview over this kind of activity. obviously, they got them on an antitrust violations of this falls under the purview of the department of justice. the fed, the banking regulators, the commodity futures trading commission -- they all have a kind of general mandate to look out for the sort of stuff. the problem with the forex markets, there isn't a specific audie -- body that is specifically looking at does all the time. it's not like, let's say the commodities market where you do have the cftc that is specifically looking at that. this is one of many markets that simply falls between the cracks in the revelatory scheme where there isn't a single -- targeted
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effort to look at this all the time. amy: earlier this month, bernie sanders up for might who is now , running president, introduced the "too big to fail, too big to exist act." >> the bill i'm introducing today with congressman brad sherman would require regulators financial stability oversight council to establish too big to fail list of financial institutions and other huge entities whose failure would pose a catastrophic risk on the united states economy without a taxpayer bailout. this list must include but not limited to j.p. morgan chase bank of america, citigroup goldman sachs, wells fargo, and morgan stanley. it should make every american extremely nervous that in this week regulatory environment, the financial supervisors in our country and around the world are still able to uncover an enormous amount of fraud on wall
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street and other financial institutions to this very day. i feel very much that the financial system is even more fragile than many people may perceive. this huge issue simply cannot be swept under the rug. it is got to be addressed. amy: that estimate credit presidential candidate bernie sanders, senator a vermont, independent senator, about a decade ago you stayed with sanders for about a month covering him for "rolling stone" in the profile. >> he invited me to tag along and watch how the process works. i think he felt the public should know about a lot of the nooks in crane's of the congressional bureaucracy. i got this remarkable education and how things work. he did not hold anything back. sanders is exactly as advertised. is completely honest politician who is just really interested in seeing standing up for regular
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working people. his voice on this particular issue i think is really important because he is one of the few politicians who understands it is a truly bipartisan issue that affects everybody, people on both sides of the aisle equally. and he is absolutely right about breaking up the banks. that is the most single most important thing that has to be done with this issue. nermeen: there have been reports, matt taibbi, and i'm sure this is the case, that none of the significant changes that were to be put in place in the financial system since the crisis occurred several years ago, those changes have not yet taken place. and so this kind of thing is likely to recur. could you talk about that and also the extent to which the new attorney general loretta lynch is likely to be tougher on banks and bankers? >> i don't know if that is exactly true. here from people on wall street all the time there are certain things that are different -- i hear from people on wall street all the time that there certain things that are different since dodd-frank, a number of
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regulations that have made it more difficult to engage in the kinds of risk activities that we saw before 2008. but by and large, the general problem is more unwillingness to enforce existing laws. it wasn't so much absence of regulation that was the problem in 2008, it was more of a failure of will on the part of the government. we have laws on the books that were perfectly sufficient in the late 1980's and early 1990's when we conducted over 1800 prosecutions and put 800 people in jail after the as a no crisis. we can do the same thing now if we want to with this or with robo signing or subprime mortgage fraud or in yet other dozen scandals at we just haven't done it. i think that is the main problem. it is a failure of will. i do hear from people that there is more seriousness now in the waning years of the obama
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administration, more willingness to go after the banks. amy: a new report from the corporate reform coalition called "still too big to fail" says since 2008 regulators have failed to enact key parts of the dodd-frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. it found -- "the top six bank holding companies are considerably larger than before, and are still permitted to borrow excessively relative to the assets they hold... banks can still use taxpayer-backed insured deposits to engage in high-risk derivative transactions here and overseas. compensation incentives fail to discourage mismanagement and illegality, given that when legal fees, settlements, and fines mount, it is usually the shareholders, not the corporate executives who pay." the report concludes -- "should one of these giant banking firms fail again, it appears that the damage will not be contained." so there is a lot here. one is that the u.s. could descend again. number two is that even with the billions that are now -- these banks have to pay, who is actually paying? >> the shareholders.
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the pain is not going to come from the actual wrongdoers. the people who actually committed the offenses. although, there have been some criminal indictments in the previous libor case. we can't say nobody is going to go to jail, because that could happen. there could be a few low level players who will get rolled up in this thing. amy: because the nonprosecution agreement was voided because they did it again? >> yes, but even in the libor case, the were people from other banks, couple of employees who are criminally indicted, if ira member correctly. it was something like -- it was nothing like should of happened, but there were a few individuals who got caught up. by and large that quote is correct. first, after 2008, we made the system farm work concentrated. -- far more concentrated, the too big to fail banks bigger. we did this intentionally using taxpayer money to merge makes together to make them bigger and more dangerous and harder to regulate. and we saw with episodes like the one with the massive losses
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that can happen in the blink of a night and we will have no idea when it is going to happen. so this kind of activity -- we definitely made the system risk your, harder to regulate, and all of those things are certainly true and dodd-frank has failed to address those. amy: matt taibbi we're going to get a break and when we come back, we will talk about "why baltimore blew up [captioning made possible by democracy now!] you say goes far beyond the police killings a freddie gray. matt taibbi award-winning journalist with "rolling stone" magazine. his recent book is now out in paperback "the divide: american , injustice in the age of the wealth gap ." ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: new cellphone video sheds light on freddie gray's fatal journey in a police van. the footage obtained by "the baltimore sun" shows gray lying motionless as several police officers shackle his ankles and
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load him into the vehicle. it appears to contradict earlier claims that gray was irate and combative. one of the witnesses -- one of the officers threatened or use the taser on the one filming. gray died from his injuries on april 19. his family and attorney say his voice box was crushed and his spine was "80% severed" at his neck. his death sparked massive protests nationwide. earlier this month, baltimore state's attorney marilyn mosby announced charges against six police officers in connection to gray's death. amy: baltimore's the focus of matt taibbi plus latest article in "rolling stone" magazine called, "why baltimore blew up." inside the complex legal infrastructure that encourages and covers up police violence. take us inside that van. you're writing a book on the
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subject right now. >> i first came onto the subject the cause of the other subject we were talking about. i've been writing about why people don't go to jail and who does go to jail in this country and i wanted to make that comparison. in doing so, i do learn a lot about community policing, stop and frisk, with a call zero-tolerance policing tactics. a lot of that i think is behind the anger that we are seeing spill out in places like ferguson and baltimore because these new instituted in the last couple of decades, most famously beginning here in new york with rudy giuliani and bill bratton, broken windows theory, what happens with these police strategies, a forces police to go out into neighborhoods and do what one police officer described to me as self initiate a contact. in other words, you have a different neighborhood, the absolute white neighborhood were
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police only show up when they are called. somebody falls out of a window summit he shoots a gun in a building, they will show up. but in the south bronx, police are getting out of their squad cars, stopping people on the streets, questioning them, patting them down and it creates this endless stream of hostile interactions that over time, creates more and more animosity and more and more room for corruption of the process. and i think that is deftly the background for what we see in places like baltimore. nermeen: what was the origin of the broken windows policy and what exactly has its effects been? >> broken windows was a very espoused by couple of academics in an article and an atlantic magazine in 1982 and the idea was if you leave a broken window in the neighborhood, then very shortly after, all of the other windows nearby loss of the broken.
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-- will also be broken. visible signs of public disorder will lead to more public disorder. so if you cut down on visible signs of public disorder like the small things like graffiti, it will have two dev impacts. number one, it will crack down on the visible signs of public disorder and people will feel safer walking round in those neighborhoods but it will also discourage people from walking outside with a gun and it will discourage fugitives from walking the streets because they know they may be stopped for even the most minor things and so they're less likely to commit crimes. that is the theory. the tactic that they used to employ this theory, which was stop and frisk, encouraged officers to go out in huge numbers into neighborhoods and essentially without probable cause, stop people, question them, sometimes pat them down empty their pockets, and it created thousands and thousands of interactions out of those interactions sprung hundreds of
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thousands of summonses per year. and a lot of people who otherwise would not have had criminal records, ended up in the system because of this new policy. you might argue it curtailed crime, but it also created this other thing were lots and lots of people ended up in the system. nermeen: is that the case, that crime went down in the cities where these policies were implemented? >> criminologists are very divided. violent crime went down all across america from the early 1990's on but he went down in cities where these policies were employed and in cities where they were not employed. the origin of the -- it is basically an academic ministry in america. it has been debunked, this idea. amico let last month, the police union attorney said there were right to chase freddie gray after he ran away when a lieutenant made eye contact with him. >> they pursued mr. gray, they
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detained him for an investigative stop, had he not had a knife or illegal weapon on him, he would have been released. they know what role they played in the arrest of mr. great. what we don't know and what we're hoping the investigation will tell us is what happened inside the back of the van. he was placed in the transport and the weather he was the belted in and i don't believe he was. our position is something happened in that van, we just don't know. >> do you think the officers committed a crime that day? >> no. based on the information i know, no. amy: the police union attorney said to run in a high crime area is probable cause for arrest. >> i don't know that that is true. i don't know legally you can arrest someone for running away. i don't think that is the case. amy: clearly, the state's attorney marilyn mosby said it is not because the first thing she got them on was illegal arrest -- at least, indicted. >> this is what is unique about
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the mosby prosecution is that not only did they charge the manslaughter murder charges, but they slapped on false imprisonment, which essentially said the whole basis for the arrest was fraudulent. dating back to 1968 supreme court case am, police are allowed to stop and question someone based on what they are calling the suspicion. the standard of arctic global suspension has been broadened to include about anything. in chicago, we have the aclu scientist is where cops stopped people just because they have arrested the person before. which is not a reason to stop and question and search somebody. they stop people for all kinds of reasons. studies have shown up to half of these stops are actually baseless. out of that i'm a result
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enormous amount of frustration in the population because they feel they're being stopped and often brought to jail and made to stay overnight for no reason at all. and charged with things like loitering that eventually get dropped. it is an endless campaign of harassment. it is the day-to-day process of being stopped, dragged to joe, forced to go through the process, forced to sit in the soul of 16 other men and that is what is really what grinds people. nermeen: you talk about the number of people have been subjected to these policies. could you say what happened, the story you conclude with, the mother and hash -- what happened her? >> she was driving back from a wendy's with her two-year-old in the back of her car and she saw police arresting somebody and among other things, she saw them putting their knees on the person's head, a young african-american man. she got out of her car and started the filming -- started
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to fill the incident. because of her getting out of the car in filming, the police got upset and focused her attention on her. they dragged her out of her car by her hair. initially arrested her. they took her to jail. they left her baby in the back of the car. she ended up having to get a stranger at the side of the road to take the baby. she was calling out her mother's cell phone number so the stranger and the mother could connect. a jury found the police in the civil case not negligent in that instance. but it is the kind of thing -- when i talked to her, she said her whole conception of the police, the government, everything changed. it will be changed forever now. she said she will never call the police for any reason. and i think that is what goes on a lot in these neighborhoods. people have a bad experience, it colors the perception of law-enforcement and the government forever. and when something like freddie
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gray happens, it gets people worked up into a frenzy that is totally understandable. amy: we want to thank you for being with us. we're going to link to your pieces, matt taibbi award-winning journalist. his recent book, "the divide: american injustice in the age of the wealth gap," is now out in paperback. and we're going to do a post show and posted online about another of your pieces. as you go after not just the politicians running for president, but the media as well. that does it for today's show. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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